What is kombucha? Kombucha is a fermented, slightly effervescent, sweetened black or green tea that boasts many health benefits such as improving digestion, promoting weight loss, boosting heart health, stabilizing blood sugar, aiding detoxification, and protecting the liver. It is made by fermenting tea with the use of a SCOBY, which is a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast otherwise known as a mother or mushroom. The finished beverage is high in beneficial enzymes, B vitamins, minerals, and healthy acids such as gluconic and lactic acid.
How do you make kombucha? First you need a SCOBY. This can be acquired from a friend who has extras (since each batch grows another baby SCOBY people usually have extras to share), ordering a dehydrated SCOBY online from a company such as Cultures For Health (and rehydrating it before brewing your first batch), or growing your own from a purchased bottle of kombucha (which is a process that can easily be found online). Second, a large glass container (I like to use half gallon mason jars found here) to brew the kombucha in. (It’s important to use glass and not ceramic, plastic, or metal because it will leach toxins from those.) Third, organic black or green tea bags, cane sugar, distilled white vinegar, and filtered water.
Half Gallon Kombucha
- 1/2 Cup Organic Cane Sugar
- 4 Organic Black or Green Tea Bags
- 1 Cup Distilled White Vinegar or 1 Cup Kombucha (from previous batch)
- Filtered Water
Pour cane sugar into half gallon glass jar. Boil 1 quart of water and pour into jar. Stir sugar with wooden spoon until dissolved. Add tea bags to water, cover jar loosely with a towel and steep 10-15 minutes. Remove tea bags, add vinegar or kombucha from previous batch, fill jar the rest of the way with cool water leaving enough headspace to add SCOBY. When tea is warm to touch (which shouldn’t take long when adding cool water) gently drop in the SCOBY. Cover loosely with a towel or coffee filter held in place by a rubber band or metal ring, and place jar in warm area in kitchen out of direct sunlight. Let sit for 7-30 days depending on how fermented you want the finished product. The longer it sits, the more sugar is used up by the culture, and the more vinegary it will taste. Remove the SCOBY and 1 Cup liquid for your next batch, strain remaining kombucha and store in refrigerator. Repeat the process for your next batch of kombucha, and pat yourself on the back. Congratulations! You have now joined the thousands of home brewing kombucha drinkers, and will reap the benefits of this effervescent beverage. Enjoy!